Launching your product: Soft launch & Hard launch (Part 2)
LAUNCHING YOUR PRODUCT: SOFT LAUNCH OR HARD LAUNCH? (PART 2)
HOW TO SOFT LAUNCH YOUR APP?
Find your own way to soft launch your APP based on the factors like the type of your product, its scale, niche market, the target audience and the geography. When you are planning your own soft launch strategy, you may consider the below:
1. THE GEOGRAPHY
To ensure the soft launch result is relevant to your target market, the soft launch location should have users who are similar to your target users including mentality, language and geography. For example, if you would like to focus on Asian market, Hong Kong and Taiwan are easier for you to soft launch your product compared to Japan and Mainland China.
2. SET KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS (KPI)
In order to assess whether the soft launch is successful, you should set a clear KPI or measurable goals to find out if the product performance is good enough.
3. OPTIMIZE APP STORE PAGE
When soft launch involves little to no marketing, you must ensure the potential users can find your APP easily and know your APP well via the APP store page. To achieve this, please make sure you do the APP Store Optimization (ASO), proper categorization and tags. If the users see your APP but they are not interested in what they see, they will not download your APP. Therefore, a proper categorization, a good icon, outstanding video/ screenshots, a good name (easy to remember) and description (must able to highlight the product with a few sentences) are important.
4. RETENTION RATE
It is important to monitor the retention rate (the rate of users revisit your app after one day /two day/ one week). With low retention rate, you have to consider if there is anything fundamentally wrong that causing the users are unwilling/ not interested in using your APP again. Analyze when the users leave the APP. Are they leaving because of long onboarding/ complicated onboarding? Are the ads appearing too frequently/ too early? Find the problem and settle it before the hard launch.
5. THE LIFETIME VALUE (LTV)
The lifetime value of customer is a good reference for your startup. It means how much potential revenue you can receive from a single user. The LTV would help you to measure your app’s marketability.
6. FIND BUGS AND FIX BUGS
A soft launch allows the startup to do more testing of the product with actual users and test the APP on a wide range of devices. All bug reports and comments from the users are important for improving the product.
7. APP MONETIZATION MODEL
Except from finding bugs, soft launch allows you to test your monetization model. For example, if you are using in-app purchase model, you have to find out the willingness of users to make purchases/ join the premium plan. If it doesn’t work well, you have to adjust the model before hard launch.
8. REACTION ON SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
Except from monitoring the comments in app store, the social media platforms like Facebook and IG give you the chance to observe the reaction of users towards your APP. This would help you to find and fix bugs, improve user experience and understand more about the user’s expectation on the upcoming features of your app. By adding a social sharing feature in your app, you may gain additional publicity without extra spending, get new users from existing users’ networks and receive more feedbacks.
Lastly, you may consider how long the soft launch should last before releasing the products globally. There is no definitive answer, but you must find and fix the bugs, collect enough data and feedback to ensure the app’s performance and monetization model are good enough for the hard launch. If you have any questions regarding to the above, please feel free to contact PI Centre.
- Soft Launch vs Hard Launch: The Guide, Svitlana Varaksina (2019). https://themindstudios.com/blog/soft-launch-vs-hard-launch/ (Last Accessed 8 Oct 2020)